Published: Fri, June 22, 2018

News May secures major victory in major parliamentary Brexit battle By NEOnline

News May secures major victory in major parliamentary Brexit battle By NEOnline

After last-minute concessions were given to rebel Tory MPs yet again by Theresa May, the much-debated Brexit bill has passed through parliament - despite fears of opposition from the House of Lords and pro-EU MPs.

May has struggled to get backing for her plans to cut ties with the European Union, forced to find a compromise last week with pro-EU lawmakers in her Conservative Party to try to get their backing for her Brexit blueprint, or the European Union withdrawal bill.

Later in the day, the withdrawal bill - meant to replace thousands of European Union rules and regulations with United Kingdom statute on the day Britain leaves the bloc - also passed in the unelected House of Lords, its last parliamentary hurdle.

The meaningful vote would allow parliament to take charge of the negotiating strategy if they vote against the Government's Brexit deal in autumn.

"The government can not be forced by Parliament to negotiate something that the government does not want to do", the global trade secretary stated before the vote.

However the statement to be issued on Thursday by Brexit Secretary David Davis will state explicitly that the parliamentary rule-book gives the Speaker the power to determine whether a motion is amendable or not.

The concession was accepted by leading pro-EU Tory Dominic Grieve, who said it was an "obvious acknowledgement" of the sovereignty of the Commons over the executive "in black and white language".

But Downing Street left no doubt ministers are confident of drafting a motion which Mr Bercow will deem to be unamendable.

There were other MPs who were happy with the result too.

Media reports in London said more than 22 Conservative peers voted against May's government in what will be seen as a massive blow for May and her government.

Mrs May's official spokesman told reporters: "We will ensure that under standing orders the motion we bring forward is neutral".

Meanwhile pregnant Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson and Labour MP Laura Pidcock turned out to oppose the PM's plans despite being close to their due dates.

The Prime Minister staved off a Tory rebellion on the move last week but faces a bruising battle in the latest round of voting amid claims she failed to implement a compromise that opponents believed they were promised.

- If that deal is rejected by parliament, or if the government decides no deal is possible, or if a deal has not been reached by January 21, 2019, the government has to come up with a new plan of action and present it to parliament.

In the end, just six Tories defied the whip, including former justice minister Philip Lee, former chancellor Ken Clarke and arch-Remainer Anna Soubry.

On the Labour side, MPs Frank Field, Kate Hoey, John Mann and Graham Stringer voted with the Government.

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